Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Special Criminal Court: Olanguena Owono Slam 20 Years, 4 others Acquitted

 The Special Criminal Court has been slammed a 20-years jail term on former Minister of Public Health Urbain Olanguena Owono for complicity in a contract for the supply treated mosquito bed-nets worth 80 million FCFA. Acquitted were Dr. Chia Rose, Dr. Maurice Feuzeu, Dr. Hubert Wang and Dr. Okalla Abodo. The judgement was handed down on Monday August 12, 2013. The Special Tribunal found Urbain Olanguena Owono wanting for complicity in an un-executed public contract to supply treated mosquito bed nets to the Malaria Control Programme in 2004 by Vision Sarl Company. The court also slammed a life sentence for the Manager of Vision Sarl Company, Nsoe Mbella Yves Rodrigues, for fraudulently obtaining payment of the FCFA 80 million without supplying the mosquito bed nets, while the former stores accountant in Olanguena’s cabinet, Onana Belibi Timothé, received a 10-year jail term for facilitating the payment of the unexecuted contract. The accused were tried for embezzlement of various sums that summed up to FCFA 287 million meant for different programmes funded by government, the Global Fund and the World Bank to fight AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis between 2002 and 2006 in Cameroon.
In same vein, the court held Onana Belibi whose signatures also appeared on the payment decisions, as guilty of complicity in the embezzlement punished by Sections 74 and 184 (1), amongst others, of the Penal Code.
On the other hand, the court held prosecution had not sufficiently proved that Dr. Feuzeu Maurice, former permanent secretary of the AIDS Control Programme had earned undue financial benefits and paid undue mission allowances amounting to FCFA 22 million. Meanwhile, Dr Okalla Abodo, ex-permanent secretary of the Malaria Control Programme sufficiently justified expenses worth FCFA 67 million and convinced the court that he took steps to establish that his signature had been forged in the mosquito bed nets contract scam. Dr Chia Rose of the South West AIDS Control Provincial Technical Group and Dr Hubert Wang of the Tuberculosis Control Programme were both acquitted for having justified expenses worth FCFA 158 million and FCFA 13 million, respectively during proceedings.
Source: CT

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